On March 25, 2022, Ohio based energy supplier Volunteer Energy Services, Inc. filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy. Volunteer is a PUCO-certified competitive retail natural gas and electric services company providing natural gas and electric supply to over 200,000 customers, including 139 local government aggregations.
Wall Street Journal: Ohio Power Retailer Volunteer Files for Bankruptcy to Offload Customers
As reported by energy trade publication energychoicematters.com, “On March 25, 2022, [Volunteer] defaulted on approximately $12.6 million in payments due to its Wholesale Energy Suppliers. These defaults create an irreversible domino effect resulting in the need for chapter 11 relief.”
What happens when a retail supplier defaults or goes bankrupt?
A retail supplier “defaulting” means it has been unable pay its wholesale suppliers or transmission providers and is therefore unable to provide service to its retail customers.
PUCO regulations are designed to protect consumers, so their service remains uninterrupted. Ohio law requires electric and natural gas distribution utilities to serve as a “provider of last resort” if a competitive supplier is no longer able to provide service for any reason.
Customers of Volunteer may soon receive a notice from their distribution utility that they have been placed on their electric utility’s “standard service offer” or gas utility’s “standard choice offer” or “gas cost recovery” rate. These represent the utility’s default rates for electricity and natural gas and may be different rates than those offered by Volunteer.
Volunteer’s customers that are reassigned to their local utility are eligible to enroll with a different competitive supplier. Consumers can review competitive offers from other retail providers at the PUCO’s Energy Choice Ohio website at www.energychoice.ohio.gov.
Volunteer is the retail provider of retail natural gas and electric service to a number of government aggregations. Customers participating in their local government aggregations supplied by Volunteer will have their service returned the local distribution utility’s default rate.
Government aggregators may choose to seek to establish a new aggregation arrangement with another competitive retail provider.
Customers with questions or concerns should contact their local electric or natural gas utility. The PUCO Call Center is available to assist consumers with questions, complaints or general assistance navigating their energy choice options. Consumers can write the PUCO online, by mail or call (800) 686-PUCO (7826).
Bradner, Village of
City of Ontario
Cross Creek Township
Elmore, Village of
Franklin Township, Warren County
Franklin Township, Coshocton County
Franklin Township, Tuscarawas County
Grafton, Village of
Liberty Township, Hancock County
Mad River Township
Madison Township, Clark County
Milan, Village of
Russia, Village of
Silverton, Village of
Village of Bellville
Village of Corwin
Washington Court House
Wayne Township, Warren County
Wayne Township, Jefferson County
Washington Township, Richland County
Washington Township, Sandusky County